Winter first aid: Kissing a post

 NOTE: This article was modified on January 19, 2022.

“I dare you to stick your tongue on that post!”

Who hasn’t heard this as a child? As we get older, we know that lips and other wet areas of skin can stick to cold, metallic objects and that it can, in fact, be downright painful! But many young children unfortunately learn this the hard way.


If you see a child who is stuck to a metal object, here’s what to do:

  • Check the scene to ensure it is safe.
  • Call for EMS/9-1-1 if you cannot safely remove the body part from the metallic object.

Follow these steps as you care for the child:

  1. Pour warm (not hot) water on the surface of the object and/or the skin that is stuck to the object.
  2. Gradually and gently help release the child from the object.
  3. Treat any additional injuries such as torn skin or open wound.
  4. Reassure and calm the child.

This post is for information purposes only and does not replace first aid training. For information about Red Cross programs and services or training partners that offer courses in your area, visit our website.

Download our free First Aid App at to be better prepared for your children’s big and small hurts!


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